Newsstand: October 24, 2013
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Newsstand: October 24, 2013

Here we are, one step closer to Friday. In the news today: The Ontario Attorney-General disapproves of the mayor's shady reference-writing; a proposal to revamp Casa Loma will be decided next week; new restrictions for smokers; public consultations on Enbridge's plans for a GTA pipeline are cancelled; and Councillor Mike Layton wants GO Transit and the TTC to provide integrated fares.

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There’s been a fair bit of talk about Mayor Rob Ford writing, upon his mayoral stationery, a character reference for his friend and convicted criminal Alessandro Lisi. Yesterday, the Ontario Attorney-General weighed in. John Gerretsen, who happens to be the former mayor of Kingston, said the act was inappropriate, and that personal references of this nature shouldn’t be done by a mayor in an official capacity. Despite his opinion, Gerretsen said he will not introduce new legislation to stop politicians from writing reference letters in judicial proceedings. Rather than bring in new rules on the matter, he spoke of what is, for our mayor, a novel concept: “I think good common sense should prevail.” Sigh.

Plans to spruce up Casa Loma (and you thought it couldn’t be spruced any further) are in the works. If signed, a proposed 20-year deal between the City and Liberty Entertainment Group would see the latter add features like a fine-dining restaurant and banquet hall to that old Edwardian pile of bricks. The deal will be debated by Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee next week.

A sad day for smokers: Toronto’s parks and environment committee has voted in favour of restrictions on smoking at City parks, beaches, and sports facilities. Light up at your nephew’s tee-ball game no longer. The ban also extends to public pools and in the ticket area for the Toronto Island ferry.

Federal regulators have ordered that Enbridge, the Calgary company that has applied to reverse and increase the flow of a pipeline running through the GTA, to submit its final arguments on the matter in writing. The original plan, to hold public consultations, was called off by the National Energy Board after protests disrupted proceedings on Friday.

Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) wants the TTC and GO Transit to work together to provide GTA residents with an integrated fare system. He pointed out that residents he represents in Liberty Village are forced to pay the highest rate-per-distance in the city when they commute using both the GO train and TTC.